Anchorage Daily News

Alaska and America’s Energy Industry Are in the Crosshairs

Distinguished Fellow

It’s not a coincidence that the vicious, barbaric attack by Hamas on Israel took place 50 years to the day of the start of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. That invasion helped spark an oil crisis that crushed America’s economy and drove rapid inflation. Today, Iran not only hopes to wipe Israel off the face of the earth but also seeks to inflict real costs on the United States by fomenting war and terror across the Middle East. The regime in Tehran seeks to replicate what the 1973 invasion wrought: global energy instability and an upper hand over the Western world. Thanks to the remarkable innovations of America’s energy producers, though, we can now stop this pain from ever being inflicted on our country or the world. We can ensure prosperity and energy security at home while maintaining the capacity to help our ally, Israel, defend itself from these wicked attacks.

Unfortunately, standing in the way of achieving this energy security are the policies that deliberately undermine our domestic oil and gas industry. In his first one hundred days in office, President Joe Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, ceased issuing new drilling permits on federal lands, and imposed new burdensome regulations on oil and gas companies. In short, he declared war on the industry that allows American families and businesses to prosper. This war continues today, with recent actions to rewrite the rules in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and revoked leases legally obtained on Alaska’s coastal plain.

At the state level, activists and their allied politicians in energy-producing states such as New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Louisiana are using lawsuits and mandates to strangle their oil and gas industries. In other states, they seek to discourage production through tax hikes.

It may be hard to believe, but this is exactly what some lawmakers in Alaska were considering last session, proposing bills that would raise taxes on oil and gas production by as much as 40%. The Last Frontier can play a uniquely important role in ensuring American energy independence due to its strategic location, substantial natural resources and vast untapped gas reserves. However, with producers already under fire from the Biden administration, introducing tax hikes would be catastrophic for the industry and the American economy.

Tax hikes in Alaska’s already challenging environment would trigger an immediate retreat in Alaska’s energy development. Destabilizing current production while greatly disincentivizing future development in Alaska would have ramifications across the United States and for our allies who depend on American energy in Europe, the Middle East, and even potentially in the Indo-Pacific.

As secretary of state, I saw firsthand how energy security impacted geopolitics. When we can supply our allies with clean energy from our own industry rather than relying on others, the United States can lead from a position of strength. Due to bad policies by the Biden administration at the federal level and misguided lawmakers and activists at the state level, we are in danger of losing our ability to do this.

With war in Europe and now the Middle East, the United States and our allies are at a dangerous moment. We can either become a 21st-century energy superpower, capable of supporting peace and prosperity at home and around the world, or we can return to the dreary days of the 1970s – where high inflation, economic stagnation, and global instability threatened American families.

Getting this right starts at home. It starts in key energy states like Alaska. I urge Alaskans to recognize the responsibility and opportunity to lead by making choices to increase production by defeating efforts to increase state taxes so that they have the credibility to push back on the Biden Administration’s policies. The fate of our economy and national security hangs in the balance.

Read in the Anchorage Daily News.